Logic and reality in the philosophy of John Stuart Mill

Scarre, Geoffrey Francis (1986). Logic and reality in the philosophy of John Stuart Mill. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f807


This study of the leading principles of Mill's empiricist metaphysics and philosophy of logic aims to provide accurate (and often revisionary) exegesis and criticism of his theories, and to show their pertinence to current philosophical debates. Mill's views on the attainment of knowledge by inference, the problems of suasive syllogisms, and the possibility of inductive inference are first discussed, and it is argued that his philosophy of logic is informed by a realist theory of error. Subsequently, attention is paid to his uncompromising rejection of a priori avenues to knowledge about objective reality, and his allegiance to a radical empiricist principle that all knowledge is of phenomena alone. A scrutiny of Mill's theories of the experienced world and of the experiencing self: brings the discussion; to the point at which it emerges clearly that there is a deep tension within his thought between a form of empiricism which approximates to a variety of scientific realism, and another which leans towards sensationalistic reductionism.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions